The year is 1986. I was 10 years old and torn between two teams, the Packers and the 49ers. See, dad was a big 49ers fan and they had Roger Craig, Jerry Rice and of course Joe Montana. The Packers had Randy Wright and a big legacy they weren’t living up to. But my mom was a huge Packers fan, and she got so into the games. Mom’s a bit of a screamer when it comes to football. You wouldn’t know it to look at her, but when the game starts, the veins start popping out in her neck. It was hard not to root for the Packers when they were on TV because I loved my mom and she loved the Packers. But they sucked! I mean, look back at those years. What good came out of them aside from James Lofton? So as a normal 10 year old, I told everyone I was a 49ers fan.
Fast forward to Thanksgiving Day, 1986. Uncle Erick was down from Milwaukee. The Packers were on TV. It was a good day. Uncle Erick had the classic WI accent and I loved hearing him talk. We talked and talked about Lofton and how next year would be a good year for the Packers. He also talked about Mossy Cade, how he didn’t like Kenneth Davis (I totally disagreed, what a great name!). He also had a hunch Walter Stanley was going to have a big game against the Lions. And what a game he had. The two teams combined to score at least 17 points in every quarter. Walter Stanley was electric, catching 4 balls for 124 yards and 2 TDs. But nothing could stop the juggernaut that was the 1986 Detroit Lions and the Packers were down 10 in the 4th quarter. And then it happened. After a Wright to Carruth TD pass the defense forced a Lions punt. Stanley caught it and had some room. He cut back, he broke tackles, he just kept running. I remember it seemed to take forever. But he managed to run it back. It was electric. My mom had the biggest smile on her face I’d ever seen. And the Packers had a fan for life.